Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pretend Grace Hopper is in the audience

There's been a ton of flap about some presentations made at TechCrunch "Disrupt", deservedly so. The "Titstare" presentation has generated the most backlash. There's also the "Circle Shake" presentation. ValleyWag has the details on them both, in case you haven't heard already.

Enter these into the annals of now dozens of "tech" conference presentations that were inappropriate or, even worse, misogynistic, homophobic and otherwise prejudiced. There are even serial inappropriate presenters, such as Matt Van Horn (google search).

I have a tip I just thought of for anyone who is making a presentation and wants to figure out if what they're going to present is inappopriate: pretend Grace Hopper is in the audience. So you're up there joking around about your app staring at breasts, you'd look out in the audience and see this:


I never knew Grace Hopper and I doubt you did either, but here's a rough guideline. She was:

a) A great mind in computing
b) A professional presenter
c) A woman in computing.

Would she approve of your presentation? Would she think what you've produced is worthy? Would she be happy with your professionalism? Would she laugh at your jokes?

Ask yourself these questions, and if the answers are "no", then don't do the presentation you had in mind.

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